Care home staff should wear pyjamas during night shifts to help dementia patients realise it is time for bed, experts have said. A survey of staff shows that one in 10 already adopt the practice to help their residents’ sleep patterns.
Nearly six in 10 of the 2,600 care home owners, managers and staff polled endorsed wearing pyjamas at night.
In some care homes staff have trialled wearing uniforms disguised to look like pyjamas.
Research by Alzheimer’s Research UK suggests more than half of people living in care homes are affected by dementia, having risen by over 15 per cent since 2013.
Sue Learner, from carehome.co.uk, which commissioned the poll, said: “It is good care home staff are thinking outside the box and trying out innovative initiatives in a bid to make life better for people with dementia.
“We need to adapt to people with dementia instead of expecting them to adapt to our way of life.
“We need to try and think how they think and imagine walking in their shoes when we are giving care to people living with dementia.”
However, she acknowledged that the idea had the potential to confuse residents as well as help them.
Approximately 850,000 people in the UK suffer from a form of dementia, with the number set to rise to more than one million by 2025.
It means one in six people over the age of 80 suffer from the incurable condition.
Debbie Smith, home manager at Simonsfield Care Home in xxx, which has tried switching to pyjamas in the evening, said: “The initiative met with a really good response from most of the residents and we’ve seen a drastic improvement in their sleep patterns, so the switch has been made permanent.”
The poll, conducted by The SurveyMonkey involved 2,611 care home owners, managers and staff in September.